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Hi all , I have been given a large pot for my patio.  What can you reccomend to plant in it.   It is 18" tall and on the bottom is stamped 75 litres which I assume is what it holds .  It is black and made from something that resembles terracotta but won't be damaged by frost. My patio faces South East so it is full sun until 4pm.   I used to have a lot of pots but started to cut them down because of the watering but I have been given this pot by a friend who is a frequent visitor so I can't just stick it somewhere and forget it.  What shall i put in it, Help please.

Gary Hobson

It depends a bit on your own tastes, and what else you have on your patio.

If the pot is black then that suggests something stylish. Personally I'd have gone for something like a small bamboo (upright and evergreen, but not very original), or perhaps an agave, or a selection of alpines or succulents, or maybe a Zantedecia (can look good in a black pot).

Make sure that the pot has a decent drainage hole.

Pansy2, I would put a Thuja plicata in your pot, it is a small slow growing Golden Conifer I have had some for years and they give a year round show for little effort apart from a light trim and a feed now and then. They like a slightly acid soil and the gold turns to bronze in the winter. They are fully hardy and mine have dried out a couple of times with no ill effect. Taxus another Conifer is more vertical but still golden and slow growing, the scent from the conifers is quite nice too, well I like it.



Why not just fill it with trailling plants - you can get a tray of container/trailing plants for £8 in B&Q. There is nothing more attractive then a beautiful selection of trailing plants in a container. Set against the black of the pot - it will look fab !!!

We are a bit far from a B&Q but next time I'm in a garden centre I will look for trailing plants but I quite like the Thuja idea too as it will look good all year round.  I already have a pot of bamboo on the patio.  It's the one with black stems and it does look good against the yellow wall.  Thanks for the ideas folks.



The Goldcrest Cypress is a lovely pale yellow colour, lemon scented when you run your hands through it, naturally pyramid shaped and take a good pruning/topiary. That is the one that I would go for. Thuja plicata is dull in comparison. You can plant flowers around it (Pansies, Primula and Ivy look good around it)

Bamboo is a good idea as the black pot will contrast with the green of the Bamboo. You will need to keep it well watered as they drink gallons of water in summer.


Do bamboo's survive our winters if there planted in pots ?  I'm thinking of getting one, but it will have to live in a pot.


I had had Bamboo in pots for the past 5 years (so the worst winters) and they came out fine. I find the wind is worst for defoliating them, but they refoliate in spring, so no a worry. I have Asian Wonder, P.Nigra and Fargesia murielae if that helps?

One plant that is ideal for pots is the agapanthus.   The tighter they are potted, the more they flower. 


Very similar to a maple, of which I have many - should co-exist nicely.

Cheers blairs - it does. 

I love agapanthus gardengirl, I had one but it didn't survive the winter of 10/11 - I was so sad when spring arrived , had, had it years too. Luckly, I have some seeds left over from a flowershow visit, so I've taken a chance and sown them - they are a few years old like. If they take, they take, and if they don't, they don't. I'll go and buy another specimen. One can only try.

I leave my agapanthus outdoors during the winter, but I do move the pots to a sheltered spot and cover them with fleece.   I just love their flowers.   I think they must take some years to grow from seed.    Better to see if you know someone who is dividing their potful.     Mind you, I have divided mine some years ago, and found it very difficult.    Once out of their pots, I tried the old back-to-back forks method, but it just didn't work.    In the end I got a saw, and sawed straight through the clump and then again, into quarters.    It worked, and all pieces grew and flowered again.

Hi Blairs, does the goldcrest cypress have a Latin name Please?   I don't think i will find it under that name in France. What a clever lot you are, so many good ideas so here is another question:- I have a very large clump of day lily (hemoarcallis- maybe?) it has orange flowers, how can I divide it and when please?


Of course, <span class="st">Cupressus macrocarpa. It is widely sold around the world, am sure including France.


Another suggestion - dwarf fruit tree. Apples, pears, plums, cherries or even something more exotic if you have the climate.

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